The Union government has told the Supreme Court that COVID-19 inoculation guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry do not envisage forcible vaccination without obtaining the consent of an individual. On the issue of exempting persons with disabilities from producing vaccination certificates, the Union government told the apex court that it has not issued any SOP that makes it mandatory to carry the vaccination certificate for any purpose.
The Union government said this in its affidavit filed in response to a plea by NGO Evara Foundation seeking door-to-door, priority COVID-19 vaccination for persons with disabilities. "It is submitted that the direction and guidelines released by Government of India and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare do not envisage any forcible vaccination without obtaining consent of the concerned individual. It is submitted that vaccination for COVID-19 is of larger public interest in view of the ongoing pandemic situation," the affidavit filed by the Union Health Ministry said.
The ministry said that "it is duly advised, advertised and communicated through various print and social media platforms that all citizens should get vaccinated and systems and processes have been designed to facilitate the same."
“However, no person can be forced to be vaccinated against their wishes," it said.
Meanwhile, around 93% of India's adults have been administered the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while nearly 70% are fully vaccinated, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Sunday, January 16, adding that the enormous preparation in a very short span of time has made it an unparalleled journey.
“India's COVID-19 vaccination programme, right from the stage of research and development to a successful implementation, is a role model for the global community and is guided by the unshakable conviction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the hidden potential and capabilities of the citizens of the country,” he said.
Mandaviya also released a commemorative postal stamp on indigenously-developed anti-COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to mark the first anniversary of the inoculation programme. The commemorative stamp design features a healthcare worker inoculating a senior citizen with a COVID-19 vaccine, along with an image of the "Covaxin" vial.